“Write up all of your ideas” they said, “It’ll be great!” they said. It made me sick to my bones! But in the end, I caved in. So here we are ladies and gentlemen, a commentary on things to do with designing about things like games.
Boardgames mostly, but the more I learn, the more I understand that “Game” is a very open concept. PC Games, Console Games, Real Life Games, Relationship Games (oooh how I hate them!), and how to play in this world of ours. I started with boardgames. Then moved on to role playing games, then I graduated on to computer games and consoles. Then back I went to boardgames, then eventually into IF’s, LARP’s and Role Playing Games and all other nature of amazing ways to live life by and have fun.
So anyway, the other I got to thinking * WHAT would happen should “games” be taken away~? Lots. Well not lots exactly, mostly like lots of anti-things. Let me explain. Children use games as one of their most predominant ways of working out the world. Their world, and their future to come, is very importantly shaped by games. When we were all young we had a few things to worry about: what’s for dinner, am I sleepy, and how on earth I can get mum and dad to let me stay up longer. The rest of life was but a game.
“When I was younger, my mother used to say that if we lied, a little pink star appeared on our foreheads. So whenever mother asked us a question and we lied, we would instinctively put our hands on our foreheads to cover up the pink star. Of course mother always new we were lying, we had our hands on our foreheads…”
I read this lovely story online recently and thought to myself how whimsically simple it was. The game to be won by the children was to “lie to mum” and the game to be won by the mother (who of course, has played many many games before) was to work out when her children were lying. The children had not played many other games before, so the boundary of their winning conditions were much more simple. They were given some rules
- Your forehead will show a mystical round energy star should you lie
- You do not want to be found to be lying
- You still want to lie (m’Of course it m’wasn’t me that ate your limstick mum!)
So the children did the best they could, with the rules to “win” the game. Which they did! Well done children! But of course, it is only once you have played many more games that you realise exactly what the ‘long game’, or what mums game, actually is.
Games are important for life
We’re going to talk about them
*It is about here I realise that I should all warn you initially. I tend to ramble around subjects. Much like the gallant, super cool surfer carves all around a “Gnarley Wave” before running out of steam and splashing into it head first: I find myself talking all the way around a subject before we look back on our journey to find what a marvel we have created. I’m telling you all once now. This is how it be. Ok, let’s see where our intrepid hero is now…